Obviously I am no longer 17, locked in a psych ward, forced to take medications. I am 33 years old. I have the ability to make choices. Most of the time those choices just suck. But today while reading another 3fatchicks blog, I got nailed with a memory that really hurt me.
See, I was thin until I was over-medicated. No doubt I dealt with the occasional anorexia that sometimes comes with mental illness, but for the most part, I looked good and WELL. But when I was put away, I was in a drug-induced haze, and fed a medication that made me BALLOON to a whopping 305 pounds.
The worst thing about it was that I didn’t really know. It took just about a year to more than double my weight. One day I looked in the mirror, and I was like, “Who the F*CK are you?”
I got off the medications, but I still didn’t see myself as other people saw me. I didn’t understand. And since it came on so quickly, I didn’t know that my weight would restrict my activities.
My sisters and I went swimming off a dock in the middle of summer. It was awesome. A beautiful day. But I went to crawl up the ladder on the side of the dock and I COULDN’T!!! I could NOT pull myself up the ladder! I couldn’t understand. The thoughts of letting go and just letting myself drown floated through my head. “How could this have happened to me?!” I thought. My sisters had to pull me out of the water. When I finally got out, I laid on the dock panting, and some teenager there called me a beached whale.
This whole memory is one of my very most painful memories. I never really dealt with bullies or people calling me names. I was confident and liked by almost everyone. This broke me.
I lost a lot of weight by insanity. I am talking frequent loops of insane thinking. I am talking anorexia and bulimia. When I got down there quickly, my body was deformed. The quick gain, and the quick loss, my skin hung grossly. I wanted to kill myself again.
I got some help, and got some of the excess skin cut away from my belly and my breasts, but my surgery wasn’t super quality and I have struggled with liking the poor scar line and weird extra skin here and there. Sometimes I think I could have done a better job.
But how I look today is all me. I put the poison in my mouth. Most of the time I make the conscious decision to eat that entire box of cookies. I am not too unhealthy for the size I am. I can walk miles and miles, and if the old man lets me, I can run for some of it. I don’t get winded walking up stairs. I have muscles under the layers of fat. My blood pressure is great. My cholesterol is a tiny bit high but nothing that needs any medication.
I guess it takes a lot of energy to lug my obese ass around.
But hopefully, I can avoid being called a beached whale this summer.